Tag Archives: BlogHer

Blog Abuzz Update

The blog’s been abuzz this week. A few links of interest:

where's the beef

where’s the beef

Where’s the Beef?
Yesterday BlogHer published a post you first saw here about the new public school lunch standards, Where’s the Beef?: Public School Lunches Lean on Meat. If you’re all about food and farm (And who isn’t? We all eat, right?), I’d be much obliged if you’d click over to read and comment. Your interest and engagement shows there’s an audience for stories like this. BlogHer recently updated their reach from 40 million to 50 million women a month. That’s a lot of groceries…

Batman and Robin

caped crusaders

Comic Book Capers
Did you catch the Vice Presidential debate? My esteemed Finding (Un)Common Ground co-blogger Lisen Stromberg and I commented on the matchup. Was it young man vs. old man? Rude vs. polite? Seasoned vs. green? Or the Joker vs. Robin?

Voter Prep Video
Earlier this week, I changed my Missouri driver’s license to a Kansas driver’s license and registered to vote here. I video blogged about it in The Adventure and Responsibility of Voter Registration. Here’s a preview (It’s okay to laugh as I’m still learning how to vlog!):

yankee doodle

yankee doodle

Teachable Moments During Election Season
This past Tuesday, BlogHer published my story about engaging kids in the political process. Media literacy, parenting, and politics collide in You Can Watch Election Coverage With Kids. It’s an honor to publish in this forum about such important topics!

Abortion Showdown Looms
Life issues plague our country. Abortion is the elephant in the room this election. Watch for Lisen and I to take opposite stands on the issue first thing this week on Finding (Un)Common Ground.

Checking Out
Everybody feel all updated now? God willing, I’ll be back around mid-week with more in store including the first of the Instead of Hot Dogs recipes and Words to Remember from a famous Greek philosopher. Have an excellent weekend.

Praise the Lord; praise God our Savior!
For each day He carries us in His arms. Psalm 68:19 NLT

You could never run too far. Love will find you where you are.

Ciao, bella!

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Filed under blogging, writing & reading

BlogHer Syndicates Post

Thank you to BlogHer for running a post and photo that are close to my heart!

yankee doodle

Click to go to the BlogHer post!

You Can Watch Election Coverage With Kids

Please trot by BlogHer to read, share, and comment. Tell ’em Aimee sent you.

Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. 1 Chronicles 16:10b

Hippy Chick by Soho because it sounds good today.

No Hippy Chick?

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Filed under America, blogging, humor

Could It Be We Agree?

Since when did it become impossible to discuss politics and religion? Why is it so difficult?

American flag of handprints

one nation, under God, indivisible

Last week I told you about Finding (Un)Common Ground, the new site I’ve launched with writer Lisen Stromberg. We’re publishing side-by-side opinion posts about controversial, potentially divisive topics. We’re not experts; we’re simply moms who would really like to be able to discuss issues with civility. We believe others would like to be able to do the same.

Lisen’s the West Coast liberal and I’m the Southern/Heartland conservative. As expected, we did not agree in our first round of posts last week concerning the terrorist attacks against our embassies in Libya, Egypt, and Yemen.

This week, however, in our second round of posts, something strange happened.

We agreed. Well, sort of.

We weren’t in perfect sync with each other on the responses from Google and the Obama administration regarding the film Innocence of Muslims. That showed up in the comments. But we did agree on one thing: the freedom of speech is a right that must be upheld.

Wow.

blue field of handprints on flag

with liberty and justice for all

I’d say a liberal and a conservative agreeing on the importance of the First Amendment is reason for hope in this brutal election season. It may be rare that Lisen and I agree on anything, but what a great place to begin.

I promise not to blog here every time we post something there. I’ll try to let you know when new posts are up so you can click over to read them if you want.

Yesterday Lisen and I were thrilled that BlogHer syndicated our story. Read both sides in An Uncommon Meeting Sparks Civil Dialogue, Launches New Site.

Is civil dialogue possible? We’re game give it a fighting chance.

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14 NIV

Keep Your Eyes Open, my love. By NeedtoBreathe. I know the fight is on the way when the sides have been chosen. 

Please visit the BlogHer post, share or comment if you like our concept, and have an uncommonly good weekend!

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House Rules

This blog is like my house, and it’s time to set the House Rules.

house rules, here comes the fun

here comes the fun

You’re invited to visit. I hope you come by often and bring friends with you. We throw a mini party here with every post. All guests are welcomed to comment, regardless of their viewpoints.

Last week, some comments on my first syndicated BlogHer post got a little rowdy. The BlogHer community manager chose to delete several of them because they violated the BlogHer community guidelines.

In the meantime, I held all comments in moderation on everyday epistle to prevent a similar fiasco here.

While this protected my site from trolls, in a way it also punished legitimate readers who faithfully and respectfully express their views here. Those readers will be happy to know I’ve lifted the stricter comment approvals.

But I still want this to be a safe place to agree to disagree.

Following BlogHer’s example and friends’ suggestions, I’ve written community guidelines for this site. They’re available in the top menu under House Rules.

Ten things you should know:

1. There will be a diverse group of guests in my house.
All sorts of people read this blog. I want everyone to feel free to respectfully comment if they choose to dialogue.

2. There will be discussion about many different topics, including some you may consider controversial.
This is my place to write what matters to me without editor or client changes. God and country are important to me; those topics will appear in the mix of posts.

3. Sometimes there will be disagreement.
It’s unrealistic to believe we’ll all agree about everything. This isn’t Parrot Island. We have to engage in civil discourse concerning matters of disagreement if we ever hope to reach solutions for the challenges we face. Go ahead and state your case, just mind your manners as well.

4. There will be civility and grace.
If you can’t play nice and respect the intrinsic value of the humans involved, you need to go elsewhere.

house rules, do not block

do not block

5. There will be no profanity.
This is a blog, not a bar. Think of another word to use or expect your comment to be deleted.

6. There will be no bullying.
That means no personal attacks, mudslinging, name-calling, direct threats, implied threats, stalking, harassing, posting of personal information that doesn’t belong to you or has nothing to do with the topic being discussed, libel, defamation, blatant misrepresentation of another person or group, violations of privacy, or links to profane or pornographic material.

7. There will be no spam whatsoever.

8. I determine what is unacceptable here, and I’m not limited by the House Rules.
As the sole owner, content creator, and community manager of this blog, I reserve the right to change the House Rules and to remove unacceptable comments at any time and without notice.

9. A word to trolls.
If you are a troll, you may comment if you abide by the House Rules. Otherwise, your comment will be deleted. And if you send me hateful tweets, I will block you so I do not receive your messages.

house rules, olive & kickin

olive & kickin, as seen in Asheville, NC

10. Don’t like the rules?
Find another site with different rules.

Some of you may think this is harsh, self-aggrandizing overkill. Does a small, personal blog really need community guidelines?

I wish you were right. But last week’s experience prompted Momma Bear to law down the law.

This is my house. I will not allow it to be destroyed by abusive comments or overrun by trolls. Play by the rules or exit the party.

But let all who take refuge in You be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread Your protection over them,
that those who love Your name may rejoice in You. Psalm 5:11 NIV

The only Overkill here is by Men at Work from 1983, a very good year.

Have you ever been afraid to express your opinion?
What impact did that experience have on you?

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Challenge: It’s a Good Thing

My what a difference a week makes.

blogher nametag

my name tag

First syndicated post, first blogging conference, first trip to New York City in almost 20 years, first opportunity to meet several online blogger friends in real life, first time seeing THE Martha Stewart speak live and in person.

My brain is full to overflowing. 

I can quit or press on. Give up or give it my all. Be afraid or be brave. Cave to other people’s ideas of who I should be or reaffirm who I am and continue to be that person. Keep writing in series of lists—my favorite literary rhythm—or learn to break it up a bit.

I’ve been challenged in more ways than I could have imagined a week ago. In the words of THE Martha, it’s a good thing.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:5 NIV

Aaron Shust sang the perfect rallying song on the radio as I drove home from the airport yesterday: My Savior, My God.

How have you been challenged lately?
Will it defeat you or inspire you?

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Filed under blogging, faith, family & friends, life, women's studies, writing & reading

BlogHer Syndicates Chikin Post

You are the best readers in the world.

clematis

clematis

You displayed grace (and some of you restraint!) for last Thursday’s post about Chick-fil-A. Whether you agreed or disagreed with me, you kept it dignified. We want everyone to feel welcomed and respected here regardless of their views.

Today I’m excited to share with you that my post about Chick-fil-A is being syndicated on BlogHer.

According to their website, BlogHer reaches 40 million women each month. I’m honored, thrilled, and terrified to be published there as a syndicated writer.

Please go to BlogHer to see the post and consider leaving a comment. Whether you agree or disagree the issue at hand, I know you’ll comment with dignity and respect.

Syndicated on BlogHer.com

Whether you’ve been here since the beginning or since last week, you are an encouragement to me, and I am thankful for you!

My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live Him. You’re deeply rooted in Him. You’re well constructed upon Him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. Colossians 2:6-7 The Message

The Proof of Your Love by For King & Country.

Start living it. Now go see the post on BlogHer!

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BlogHer ’12 Tips

I’m excited to be headed to my first BlogHer conference next month.

New York purse

look! it’s me & Ella in New York!

Decided to go on a whim. Not sure how it happened. One email led to another, and soon I’ll be on my way to New York City.

I’ll be an itty-bitty blogger among the big guns at the BlogHer conference. Martha Stewart is a keynote speaker. THE Martha Stewart. Somebody pinch me.

The last time I was in New York was 20 years ago. Now that I’ve lived in Chicago and St. Louis, I’m ready to make strudel out of the Big Apple!

Lucky for me I’m rooming with two wonderful women who make killer strudel in real life. Katie Pinke of Pinke Post and Nancy Grossi of The Wife of a Dairyman are gracious to pull me in at the last minute.

Amy Heinz

Amy Heinz, Using Our Words

I look forward to meeting other online friends at BlogHer like Leah Beyer of Beyer Beware and Amy Heinz of Using Our Words and Disney Baby. Amy’s been to BlogHer before. She was kind to answer my most burning questions:

Q: You mentioned business cards are a must. I have a very simple business card, and I’m worried it won’t be flashy enough. Do I need to redesign and reprint cards?

Amy: No doubt whatever you have is fine. A simple card with your name, blog, and website is plenty. A lot of sponsors will collect cards so they can email you. I highly recommend being sure it’s really a brand or prize you care about before dropping your card in a bowl.

Q: What do you do at this conference? Do bloggers just go around meeting each other, exchanging cards, and talking about their blogs? I better get my 15-second interview answers ready!

Katie Pinke

Katie Pinke, Pinke Post

Amy: Last year they opened with an activity where you had 30 seconds to talk to people and exchange blog info. I probably got to about 10 people. It’s really smart to have a 15-second description. There are other opportunities for meeting people like meals, smaller sessions, hallway chats.

Q: Are you expected to read and follow all the bloggers you meet? What’s the etiquette?

Nancy Grossi

Nancy Grossi, The Wife of a Dairyman

Amy: You’ll meet a lot of people. Too many to follow them all. I recommend giving yourself a system. Put a dot on the cards of people you meet who you think you’d be most interested in reading and following. Make notes about your conversation with each blogger on their business cards.

Q: I signed up for the Thursday sessions. What are they like?

Amy: I haven’t been to those, but my friend who went Thursday last year loved it. I think it’s great to get there early and dive in.

Q: Can I choose which sessions to attend at the big conference?

Amy: Yes, you can go to whatever you want and pop in and out of the sessions. It’s very low-key. Some sessions are really popular. Map out what sessions you’re interested in beforehand on the schedule.

Leah Beyer

Leah Beyer, Beyer Beware

Q: This is the most important question. What should I wear?

Amy: It’s business casual. Be yourself and be comfortable. I usually bring casual dresses because they’re so comfortable and easy to pack.

During the day, wear layers and comfortable shoes. It can be really hot outside and really cold in the conference rooms. The sponsors alone take up multiple floors, so there’s a ton of walking, just within the hotel.

For evening parties, wear cocktail attire or a step up from daytime dresses.

with love from New York DKNY

with love from New York

Q: Anything else I should know?

Amy: It’s fun to dive into a world where people think what you do is really cool and oh-so important. See you soon!

Thank you, Amy. Read more from Amy at Using Our Words and Disney Baby. And be sure to visit the blogs of all the talented women featured in this post.

A gracious woman gains respect. Proverbs 11:16a NLT

I can see your face in All the Right Places, by Zach Heckendorf. Smooooth.

What tips do you have for getting the most out of industry conventions like BlogHer?
What are your must-dos when visiting New York?

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